(April 01, 2021) Carol Round reminds us of the miracle in Matthew 28:5-8…
This scripture tells that ‘The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.’
An empty tomb
The women were looking for Jesus. They were looking for their precious Jesus to anoint his body with spices, but he wasn’t there. The tomb was empty. How could that be?
Startled by the appearance of an angel, the women are afraid. Wouldn’t you be too? Imagine their racing hearts.
On the way to the tomb, they had asked each other, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the entrance to the tomb?’ (Mark 16:1-4). The women had been so intent on their mission, that they had overlooked the obstacle in their path.
Yes, Jesus had told his followers that he would rise from the dead on the third day.
But can you imagine their thoughts? Even though they’d seen him perform miracle after miracle, their finite minds could not grasp what he meant by this rising on a third day… his resurrection from the grave as we know it.
In Matthew 28:2 we can read that there had been ‘… a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.’
And why would an angel open the tomb? Jesus wanted his followers to enter it and witness for themselves the miracle of his resurrection. The tomb was empty.
The large stone blocking the entrance to his resting place didn’t stop Jesus. He was – he is alive! His resurrected body was able to even walk through the stone walls (See John 20:26.)
Many are still looking
But some of us are still looking for him in all the wrong places or are allowing obstacles to hinder us from finding Jesus. Many of us are even recalling this saying: ‘If God feels distant… guess who moved?’
In Psalm 42:5 and again in verse 11, the writer asks, ‘Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?’ Throughout this psalm, David cries out to God. He is thirsty for his presence. But he also reminds himself, and us, to put ‘our hope in God,’ and ‘to praise him,’ for he is our ‘Saviour and God.’
Sometimes we feel as if our prayers hit the ceiling and stop there. We pray for loved ones who’ve strayed that they will return to Jesus. Or our prayers are lifted for those who are ill. Maybe we appeal to God for a friend who’s lost a job.
And when our prayers go unanswered, we ask, ‘Why, God, why?’ Like the psalmist, we wonder if he has deserted us in our time of need.
But many scriptures reassure us we have not been forgotten! One of my favourites is Joshua 1:9, ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
Jesus… alive today!
At times we endure trials so difficult we wonder how we’ll come through them: Many of us feel that way during a current crisis.
Christian apologist and former atheist Lee Strobel once said, ‘If God can take the worst thing that could ever happen in the universe – the death of the Son of God – and turn it into the best thing that could ever happen – the opening of heaven to all who follow him – then he can draw good from whatever problems we face.’
Hallelujah! Jesus is alive today! On that first Easter morning, he rose from the dead. His victory became a victory over death for all who believe. In John 11:25-26, Jesus made this promise, saying, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.’
Search with all your heart
While some have already discovered it, our search for significance should lead us to one place – the foot of the cross. Jeremiah 29:13CSB promises, ‘You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.’
We try so hard to find our place in this world, a place where we fit in. But this world is only a temporary stop on our road to eternity. We can continue fruitless searches, but real significance is discovered when we answer the call of God on our hearts, and we accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
So… I encourage you – seek and find the risen Saviour! And… don’t allow any obstacle to stall or hinder you. Your life will change, you will never be the same again.
Carol Round is an international self-syndicated Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. Carol follows her passion of using her writing and speaking abilities to inspire others; Her encouraging articles have appeared in national and international publications such as Assist News Service (www.assistnews.net founded by Dan Wooding) and she especially loves hearing from readers.
Recommended: Growing Confidently in Your Faith. Inside are the musings of a woman who has a heart to know God. Carol Round sees the everyday events of life through the lens of scripture and points out life applications. Inspiration in a thought-provoking, upbeat, down-to-earth, no-nonsense way. Links: A Matter of Faith weekly column: firstname.lastname@example.org / www.carolaround.com.